Is the web becoming the operating system?

The web is replacing the operating system as devices and platforms combine into one, according to Opera's chief executive.

Jon von Tetzchner said at the Wireless and Mobile show in London today that this wasn't in the future, but was already happening as more and more devices were becoming web enabled.

He's not the only one who thinks so, either. He cited a previous panel with Nokia and Google, saying they said the same thing "with exclamation marks".

There have been too many experiments in the past when it came to accessing the web - such as WAP, which failed because it was about building separate networks rather than just focusing on one, von Tetzchner added.

He said: People want the same stuff on the mobile as on the desktop."

He noted how users of Opera Mini, the company's mobile web browser, generally looked at the same websites that they would visit on desktops.

Tetzchner added that many of the applications that users had running on their computers were web based, and that most users used no more than five native applications on their PCs.

"Most of us use the browser, Office, maybe a chat client, graphical tools then it gets more and more difficult to find anything else," he said.

"Everything else is web based. It is the reason why Apple has had some success in the market because you can run the same applications [as Windows]. The same is with Linux."